Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 13, 2009 - 10:40:00 AM

Critical injuries 

An 80-year-old Berkeley woman was critically injured in a cooking fire Friday, reports Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong. 

Firefighters received the call at 5:37, p.m., and arrived at the woman’s home in the 2400 block of Ellsworth Street moments later. 

Despite third-degree burns over 80 percent of her body, the woman answered the door, telling firefighters she’d been burned while cooking her dinner. 

Seeing the severe nature of her injuries and recognizing that rush-hour traffic was at its peak, firefighters immediately called for a helicopter, which landed minutes later at the intersection of Derby and Milvia Streets, said Deputy Chief Dong. 

The woman was flown to the Santa Clara Valley Hospital Burn Unit. 

“We haven’t received an update yet on her condition,” said the deputy chief. 

Because of the severe nature of her injuries, the Fire Department provided a critical incident stress debriefing for the emergency crew.  

Apart from some smoke damage, her home wasn’t significantly damaged, Deputy Chief Dong said. 


Warehouse fire 

A warehouse worker cutting a steel I-beam in an attic woodworking shop at a warehouse at 650 University Ave. inadvertently triggered a Monday afternoon blaze when the heated beam ignited wood behind the walls and ceiling panels, said Deputy Chief Dong. 

Because of the building’s interior structure, it took firefighters some time to locate the blaze when they arrived shortly after a 4:25 p.m. call to 911. 

“There was smoke filling the warehouse when they arrived,” said the deputy chief. 

Once located, it took the firefighters about 25 minutes to control the blaze, and by the time the smoke had cleared, they were able to estimate the damage to the structure at about $20,000.